Cold gelato is not what I typically think of as an enjoyable treat during a winter night, but Dolcezza gelato is an exception. I’m convinced this stuff should be enjoyed year-round.
The company’s new factory, nestled behind Union Market, offers a warm and welcome atmosphere for its guests. It has an intimate feel like that of a local coffee shop, yet its robust size is a quick reminder that you are, in fact, in a refurbished warehouse.
I walked in and found myself among a handful of guests who were buzzing over the fresh gelato flavors being churned out every few minutes by the Dolcezza staff. Other guests, whose palates may have been opposed to eating gelato on such a cold evening, opted for the warm and delicious Stumptown Coffee.
I took a bar stool among several of the other guests and requested my first flavor, Thai coconut. The sample supplied me with about a minute’s worth of full, flavorful bliss. “Another?” they asked. Well, I didn’t think it would hurt if I took one more … or several.
What started with Thai Coconut quickly turned into Georgia praline, honey tangerine, apple, salted caramel, and dark chocolate. Suddenly, the entire experience conjured up images of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and somehow, I had secured the coveted golden ticket!
I walked around and explored the space. Fresh ingredients and equipment lined the back walls in anticipation of being used to create a new, flavorful experience for the next unsuspecting customer. I chatted with Robb Duncan, the founder of Dolcezza, who with his wife started the artisanal gelato brand in Georgetown nearly 10 years ago.
I stared wide-eyed while spooning up every last scoop as he talked about the process of packaging and shipping daily-made gelato to retailers across D.C., the creative process behind the various flavors on the menu, and the close relationships the company has with local farmers who provide all of the ingredients used in the creation of Dolcezza’s products.
After making the executive decision that gelato was going to have to substitute as dinner, I scooped up the last bite, buttoned my coat (I’m convinced it was a little tighter), and thanked the staff for the good time. Dolcezza is a true treat, and I can’t wait to return!
Locations in Georgetown, Dupont, and Bethesda.
550 Pennsylvania Ave. N.E.